Jamie Chadwick rejected suggestions she’s outclassed the W Series after extending her perfect start to the season with a first home victory at Silverstone.
The reigning champion’s fourth win of 2022 also marked her sixth straight across two campaigns, this time finishing over 19 seconds ahead of Finland’s Emma Kimilainen, while Brit Abbi Pulling rounded out the podium to maintain her grip on second place in the standings.
Chadwick’s masterclass led some, including commentator Naomi Schiff, to argue the W Series’ back-to-back and only champion was now, simply, in “a league of her own.”
“It doesn’t really [resonate with me],” Chadwick insisted. “I was fortunate today to get a good first lap in with everyone battling behind and preserve the gap.
“The nature of the championship, because it’s only one race a weekend, it looks on the face of it like it’s all kind of falling into place more than it is.
“I’m still definitely constantly being pushed really hard and I have no doubt that the rest of the season is still going to be just as hard.
“I think I’ve come into this year feeling really hungry for it and just wanting to do the absolute utmost and the best I can to try and get results week in and week out, and I’m really happy so far that’s how it’s gone.”
Still, she admitted, experience helps. And Chadwick, now in her fourth year working with Williams’ driver academy, is arguably the most seasoned on the grid.
She said: “I can’t underestimate how much more experience I have than some of the other drivers in the championship, especially some of the younger ones like Abbi.
“With the nature of the short weekends, they’re quite fast-paced, practice, qualifying and just one race it makes it difficult.
“So naturally I think the rest of the season and even going into next year these guys, especially Abbi, are going to really make big improvements and be the ones that are hard to beat. No doubt about that, but I’m going to use the experience I have as an advantage for now and keep my nose ahead.”
Silverstone was the track that had evaded Chadwick, who was ahead by five seconds soon after lights out.
“I wasn’t even on the podium [in 2019] – I remember!” she said, laughing.
“I don’t know why, it’s just never been the race for me, but fortunately I’ve kind of got that monkey off my shoulder this weekend and it all went nicely to plan.”
Last year’s Silverstone champion Alice Powell, meanwhile, is quickly becoming the W Series’ unluckiest competitor.
The Brit, who qualified third, joked about stalling at the start on Friday, and found herself in serious trouble after gear difficulties at the beginning of the formulation lap forced her to completely restart the car.
Though she worked her way back up, Powell was later charged with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty after failing to be in position for the first safety car, ultimately finishing 14th.
And the troubles didn’t end there for Powell, whose 2021 title clash with Chadwick came down to the last race of the season, stalling again as she exited the pit lane after serving the penalty. It hauntingly echoed similar troubles in the Series’ opening weekend in Miami.
Powell’s mentee Pulling, meanwhile, found herself in a wheel-to-wheel battle with Fabienne Wohlwend until the Liechtensteiner lost the rear at Village corner, gifting Pulling the breakthrough she was looking for.
A collision with Kimilainen in the final seconds, however, as she eyed a move up nearly cost her a podium place entirely.
But Pulling pulled aside and allowed Kimilainen to pass, a decision that ultimately led to the stewards’ decision not to penalize.
As a result Pulling, with 53 points in her first full season, remains Chadwick’s closest competition with six races remaining.